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b. benten is the online shop for high quality handmade ceramics and houseware items from Japan rooted in tradition for everyday use. Our mission is to introduce Japan's master artisans to the world by offering their limited work and covering fascinating stories of craftsmanship.

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What is your talent? 

Maya Nakamura

 

Finding our natural talents can be difficult to do.  For me, it has been impossible. I’ve always envied people who have discovered their passions at an early age.  How in the world did they find their own paths so young and knew that they should stay in their lanes?  What is taking so long for my inner purpose be awaken?  Do I not even have one? 

About a month ago, I was walking down the street with a good friend of mine after a really good brunch in her beach neighborhood.  I’ve known her for almost 20 years but we only started to hang out recently.  She lives in a surf town called, Chigasaki, which is about 1.5 hr away from where I live in Tokyo so we are not exactly close neighbors, but we become close in recent years and we've traveled together a several times.    I was so delighted when she invited me over to her house for 2 reasons; 1. To be able to get away from the city life and be by the beach.  2. To check out Mokichi Foods Garden Café.   

 

Mokichi Foods Garden is tucked away in a residential neighborhood of Chigasaki.  They renovated one of the oldest buildings in the area at the ancient brewery and made it into a café + bakery.  You must see the wood carvings and beam ceilings because they are quite stunning.   

You can sit outside in the courtyard in the shade of big tree, but we sat inside since we were in desperate need of A/C.  It was a very hot Sunday afternoon and I hadn't slept much (long story).  We had a quattro formaggi pizza and locally grown veggies with homemade bread.  Food was simple but refined.  

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This place was a hit.  It makes me happy when I discover a place like this where food and ambience are something to write home about.  It was so worth the trip.  

It truly brings me joy to discover a great place like Mokichi. 

So back to when I was walking down the street with my friend.  It was right after this brunch at Mokichi.  My friend said, “I have lived in this neighborhood for more than 10 years and I had never even heard of this place.  You got a great sense to find cool places in any city in any country.  You should turn it into your profession somehow.” 

I was flattered but didn't think much of it.   But this was definitely not the first time someone complimented on my ability to hunt good restaurants, bars and cafes.  (humble brag)  Could this be my talent?  could it become a profession?  am I crazy for taking this semi-seriously?

I am a horrible writer so I can't be a professional blogger.  But there has be another way to use my spider sense.  

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My friend told me if more than 3 people call out the same talent in you, you should pursue it.  She told me to believe in myself and find a way to turn it into a profession.  

So I've decided.  I still don't know exactly how to utilize my 'talent' yet, but I am going to casually introduce my discoveries on this journal here, and see where it takes me to.  I want to develop a really good source for places that makes you want to tell everyone about.  All the great finds in hidden alleys.  All the inspiring food presentation and beautiful table settings.   

I must say I have the eyes of a hawk,  and the curious mind of children when it comes to shops and restaurants, so this should be fun.  

This might be the beginning of something. 

Let's go.

[Shop Info]
Mokichi Foods Garden
http://www.kumazawa.jp/mokichi/foodsgarden/
13-1 Motomachi Chigasaki-shi, Kanagawa prefecture 253-0043 JAPAN